SLTN is the trusted partner of organisations in a variety of sectors. Want to know how we help them tackle the challenges of their sector with a tailored solution? Read our customer case studies.

Kantar and SLTN: the best of both worlds

Kantar is the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. Founded in 1945 as a market research agency, NIPO (the Netherlands Institute for Public Opinion), it became part of the British company Kantar in 2018. 30,000 people work for Kantar worldwide, processing data from 88 million respondents. Kantar is also the largest organisation in terms of data, insights and consultancy.

Futureproof automation

Kantar collects data digitally and shares insights in real-time, at scale and at high speed. The huge amounts of market research can be conducted successfully with well-structured automation. Kantar uses AI and machine learning to make existing services faster and cheaper and to offer new services that used to look impossible. In 2021, there was a reorganisation at Kantar, in which the automation department was reduced to focus on the core business. SLTN was asked to make the IT environment futureproof and keep it that way.

Kantar helps companies optimise

Aram Meuleman, the Director of Data & Automation at Kantar Benelux, is responsible for everything to do with automation, dashboarding, data processing and scripting. Aram: “Kantar is one of the world’s largest market research agencies. This means that we help a wide range of customers concerned with branding, customer experience, innovation and media find an answer to the question: “What are my customers doing and where can I improve?” To answer those questions, we generally send a questionnaire out to our respondents or customers to ask questions such as “What is your experience with this brand?” “How could it do better?” “What can the company do to support you better?” This generates reports, recommendations and dashboards for our customers.”

Automation is crucial

If you process so much data, it is important that you automate as much as possible to be able to meet your customers’ demands. This asks a lot of the IT department, because you need to make sure that all the processes are running smoothly, that the data gets maximum protection and that you are alert to new applications that could improve the processes. As Aram explains, “Automation within market research is hugely important, and that importance is increasing. Everything needs to go faster and faster, and customers increasingly want to view the results of their research in real-time. For this, automation is crucial.”

Chance cooperation

SLTN and Kantar have been working together for several years. The cooperation began with a chance meeting at the tennis courts when Kantar was looking for a new developer. Now a large group of SLTN staff are working on various Kantar projects. Aram continues: “In market research, standard applications are increasingly used to link results to customers as well and quickly as possible. But we also have client-specific projects. For major clients and research, our work is customised. This means that we automate at a very specific level, building applications in with an SQL database behind them that we host in our own Microsoft Azure environment.”

Fully outsourced automation

Until 2020, Kantar Netherlands had its own automation department. When this department became too small, the decision was made to outsource the administration and maintenance of the large applications to SLTN. Aram says: “We had experience with SLTN , because they were already working for us on a project-specific basis. In 2020, we decided to transfer the entire outsourcing to SLTN. This means that we focus on the market research side of the automation and they focus on the automation side. That gives us the best of both worlds.”